Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oh What a Story! The Jersey Boys

A hard hitting emotionally charged musical chronicle.  That’s what I would call “Jersey Boys.”  As a product of the fifties and sixties as I sang along and bobbed my head to the Four Seasons I was not really aware of the torment that went with the talent of these four legends.  There is comedy and show stopping delivery of the music of your life and of your children’s and your children’s children judging from the age range of the audience.
Featured image from Trust Arts

And the cast is as convincing as the music, the harmony and the choreography.  Colby Foytik as Tommy DeVito the troubled teen who starts and tries to run the group captures the essence of the stylized Jersey persona.  Jason Kappus as Bob Gaudio could convince the pope that he is the naïve youngster who just happens to have a head for business   Brandon Andrus as Nick Massi, provides loads of comic relief with his gangly mannerisms as the loveable baritone whose pat line is:  “I think it’s time for me to start my own group.”   And of course, Brian Weinstock as Frankie Valli, talented, loyal to a fault, humble, emotionally conflicted—his falsetto, his mannerisms and his size even convince the audience that he is the real deal.

“Oh What a Night” should be retitled, “Oh What a Story!”   The Four Seasons ride from obscurity and confusion to stardom is the stuff the American dream is made of.  And you have got to love the local color in the accents and mannerisms of the Garden State’s musical exports, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  These guys became pop icons and legends before they were thirty with hit songs like ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, ‘Sheree’, ‘Working My Way Back to You’, ‘Rag Doll’, ‘Oh What a Night’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ and ‘Walk Like a Man’.  
And the length of the renditions just keeps you wanting more.  My date-- a fifties through seventies music aficionado knew the whole story behind every song and what the group was called at the time.  I knew the tunes.  I and the sold out house on September 7.

Even the scenery and special effects takes you on a timed trip through the Four Seasons adventure from the boys under the street lamp to Frankie Valli with his big band and horn section at the epitome of his career and talent with big lights and even bigger effects.
Whether this is your first time like me or if you are among the millions of return audience you will be amazed by the story, the legacy, the harmony and the high index of entertainment value of these “Jersey Boys.”

You can bob your head, tap your feet and sing along through September 23, 2012 at the Benedum Theatre and trust me the “Jersey Boys” is just as elegant and opulent as the theatre where it plays. I personally came away entertained but also spent knowing the torment and tribulation, the tears and triumph that went into the success of the Four Seasons on their way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

JERSEY BOYS is part of the PNC Broadway Across America – Pittsburgh series presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America.

Directed by two-time Tony®Award-winner Des McAnuff, JERSEY BOYS is written by Academy Award-winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.
The 2006 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Show Album, the 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical and the 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Musical (Australia).
JERSEY BOYS is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi.  This is the story of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest, most played and listened to sensations of a generation and beyond. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide - before being inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Radio Host and Serial Blogger, Joanne Quinn-Smith is the host of PositivelyPittsburghLive™ Internet Talkcast and TechnoGrannyShow™  On her shows, Joanne has interviewed over 1800 guests.  As an advocate for small Business, she was awarded the National Small Business Administration Journalist of the Year Award.  She is also the publisher of PositivelyPittsburghLiveMagazine.com which is a 2010 National Stevie Award finalist for best Media Website or Blog. PPL Mag features the GOOD NEWS, about Pittsburgh  and is  Pittsburgh’s First internet radio and TV network. The Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, Joanne also teaches her online media platform building to small businesses in a client personalized, “Web2.0 Gorilla Branding Training™”.  Connect with Joanne at:  http://joannequinnsmith.com

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